May 14th, 2008
05:35 PM ET
13 years ago

Clinton campaign: We're ahead in the popular vote

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/14/art.hill.ap.jpg caption="Is Clinton ahead in the popular vote?"](CNN) - Clinton campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe said Wednesday Hillary Clinton has overcome Barack Obama in the total popular vote.

“Senator Clinton took the lead in the popular vote last night because voters believe she is the candidate best able to beat John McCain and lead our country," McAuliffe said.

Is he right? That depends on which measure of the popular vote is used.

Four different scenarios of the total popular vote have been kicked around: (1) only counting primary contests without factoring in Florida and Michigan, whose contests were not sanctioned by the national party, (2) counting primary and caucus contests without Florida and Michigan, (3) counting primaries and contests and Florida but not Michigan, and (4) counting all primaries and caucuses including Florida and Michigan.

Clinton trails in all four counts, but by significantly different margins. In the first scenario she trails by by about 397,000, in the second she's behind 699,000, in the third she has a 405,000 vote deficit, and in the fourth scenario she trails by 77,000 votes.

The fourth scenario does not give Obama any votes out of Michigan, where he did not appear on the ballot.

The only scenario in which Clinton would appear to have the lead is a fifth scenario that only counts primary states – including both Florida and Michigan – and excludes any votes cast in the party’s caucuses. In that count, Clinton currently holds a lead of about 225,000 votes.

soundoff (259 Responses)
  1. Dee

    a whole new meaning to the term "Fuzzy Washington Math"!!

    wow.

    May 14, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  2. Good Grief

    Ludicrous that she would exclude caucus states. This claim is not based in reality.

    May 14, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  3. Vanessa

    Desperation

    May 14, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  4. cpljoeb from NC

    I dont get Hillary Clinton. She pits white people against black people, then she states she best represents non-educated hard working white people. I guess she doesnt represent me, a college educated white person and because I am college educated, I must not work hard. Also, I am a Marine Corps combat veteran. I will vote for a person who best represents me and my family, after all thats been said and researching all the candidates, I will not vote for Hillary nor will I vote for McCain. I will vote for Barrack Obama. By the way I always voted Republican but not this year. I will work on Obama's Campaign.

    May 14, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  5. Mike Cairo, NY

    PLease stay in for the long run HRC! I'm looking forward to all the damage you can still do!!!

    McCain ROCKS.

    May 14, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  6. MC in TX

    It seems then that saying Sen. Clinton leads in the popular vote count is a rather dishonest and misleading thing to say.

    May 14, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  7. Oregon calling -

    Just got Edward's endorsement, who's ahead now? And to have the Hillary campaign office across from a spripper bar here in Lane County is just stupid

    May 14, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  8. Adam from NY

    Laughable

    May 14, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  9. T.O

    How ridiculous. She trails in all metrics; but yea McAuliffe is the master spinner.

    May 14, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  10. Dem

    DELUSIONAL

    May 14, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  11. Nick in Las Vegas

    I just hope the party recognizes that Hillary Clinton would compete best in the general election. The nominee is supposed to be SELECTED, it's not just a matter or racking up delegates, the system was designed with many factors to be considered. It shouldn't just be a matter of math. Many voters do not feel strongly in support of Obama, even if he does come out ahead, should he be the nominee just because of the math? I don't think so.

    May 14, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  12. Against Lies

    And yet she wants all voices heard..once again hypocritical.....the so called fifth scenario doesnt count the voices of Iowa and Washington

    May 14, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  13. obama all the way

    Master spiner this guy is a disgrace

    May 14, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  14. scdemocrat

    Edwards for Obama, GAME, SET MATCH!!!! OH and why is Hillary for disinfranchising all of the caucus states?

    May 14, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  15. Rita

    Do not give up. Today a man with vitually no experience endorsed a man with virtually no experience and we are suppose to ignore the fact that you ae winning the popular vote.

    May 14, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  16. Dee

    a whole new meaning to the term "Fuzzy Washington Math"!

    wow.

    May 14, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  17. John, Brooklyn, NY

    Geeesh....it doesn't matter. What matters is who can cross the finish line with enough delegates to win the nomination. No fathomable gyration of the numbers can get her an advantage in the only metric that actually counts.

    May 14, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  18. Venus

    Ha,ha,ah,ha,ha! Give it UP! It's over!

    Yes we can!

    Thank you John Edwards!

    Go Obama!

    Next – wouldn't it be a mother load if the Gov of West Virginia endorses Obama?

    May 14, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  19. Marti, Plano

    Which is irrelevant, as we know, because of the electoral college system.

    May 14, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  20. Timothy

    Please let's stop this idiocy. We all know this isn't true and this math is the worst kind. Why is her campaign playing numbers and stretching the truth. Where I am from this is called lying and misleading. Please Mrs. Clinton drop out for the party's sake.

    web.mac.com/kof4life

    May 14, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  21. SBvoter

    Obama will lose in November-Ted Kennedy is behind all this.
    So now Obama will be endorsed by Edwards-what a loser.
    McCain's my man! Maybe he'll pick Hillary as VP

    May 14, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  22. NEVER obama

    I love you Hillary but I will NEVER, NEVER vote for obama. Period.

    May 14, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  23. Don in Florida

    That would be great for Clinton if only the rules at the start stated that its the popular vote that counts. Could you please give Obama ONE vote from MI? I'm sure at least one voter would have voted for him there.

    May 14, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  24. Against Lies

    Nick, you say "just because of the math"....the math represents the votes of the people of course the math matters!!!

    May 14, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  25. Yusuf

    How stupid can these clinton guys be. Or anyone to agree with them. I think they are desperately blind or just think that if it is not clinton then we will damage obama as much as possible

    May 14, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
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